There were five of them. All of them had worried looks as they walked back toward the Academy. The one in the lead was David. He had a look of hateful anger on his face. So much pent-up rage that finally exploded onto the source. After he had gotten all the sadness out of his system, he hated Quinn more for saying that she was sorry for him. The other four looked nervous. When it happened, they were running on adrenaline. Plus, one of them hated Numbers, so the idea that she could be made into an Honorary American made him even angrier. But the other three, they were almost terrified. They had left that girl, naked and beaten, to die. They weren’t involved in beating her. That was all David. He just raged, on and on and on. He screamed at her, and all she did was moan on the ground. Three of them felt disgusting. One wanted to call the cops, but David and the bigot made sure that he understood what would happen to him if he did. As they got back to the campus grounds, three of them couldn’t help but feel like they were going to pay for this, and it was going to be violent retribution.
One and a half years later
“Hell yeah! That’s what I like to hear!” Bane exclaimed, clapping his hands together.
Wolf nodded. “I’m glad to hear it, because the plan I have is big. Really big. I want to come back onto the Empire’s stage in a way that they never saw coming. With the National Zone going to be opening for business in a month, I want the people to realize that the Empire cannot protect them!”
“Fuck yeah!” Two-Face snarled. He wasn’t the only one.
Black Mask looked over. “So, what’s your plan?”
The display changed to show Ottawa. “I mean to have several attacks on the military stations surrounding the capital. I don’t want to get the civilians involved, so we are going to have to be precise.” She looked over at Bane. “I know that that isn’t a word that runs strongly in your vocabulary, so I mean to have your force be tasked with getting rid of a supply depot that is currently housing several pieces of Imperial artwork, along with modified Zero Suits that they are wanting to put into the field.”
While he did look indignant, he was still being let off the leash to blow shit up, so he wasn’t too unhappy.
“I am going to have Two-Face and his assault force attack a series of barracks just outside of the city as well. Carte blanche, within the designated area. I want every single soldier in that place dead! Understand?”
The dark grin on Two-Face was ear to ear. “Yes ma’am!”
She turned to Azrael. “I want you and the Winter’s Templar to come with me. We’re taking the fight directly to the government bureau!”
He looked stunned. “Ma’am, I don’t know. Didn’t you originally say that trying to attack the capital was suicide?”
She nodded. “I did, but we’re not taking the typical attack pattern. And I have an ace in the hole that I’m playing close. We’re not holding the city, either. We’re going to make our move, then withdraw, after making our presence known to the world. This is about shock and awe. The Empire has grown complacent now that the efforts against them have stopped. This can’t be just some attack on a Viceroy, though I wish it was. No, this has to be an attack on their seat of power. It has to be something so large that it will make them scared of us again.” She turned to Catwoman. “Now, while we are busy with that, I am assigning Copperhead and Ghost’s units with you, and you are going to be doing a little demolition of a laboratory that they are using to study new weapons. After our destruction of the underground facility, they got an upgrade. I mean to make them pay for that. Can you get it done?”
She nodded. “Yes ma’am!”
“Excellent. We have a lot of preparations to make, so get your people together. Black Mask, you will be overseeing Two-Face and Bane’s operations.”
He nodded, taking a drink of his coffee.
“Deathstroke, you will be with me. Deadshot, I am assigning you with over-watch on our evac route. Sorry to keep you so far from the action, but we are going to need to bug out fairly quickly on this, and I can’t have the Empire on our heels. Plus, you were saying how you wanted a chance to test that particle rifle in battle, right?”
Deadshot let out a cruel chuckle. “I did indeed, ma’am! We’ll get it done!”
“Good man.” She looked over at Gabby. “Firefly, you’re going to be with me as well. You’re my left hand, Deathstroke is my right in battle. Understood?”
The two nodded.
“Excellent.” She looked up at the screen. “Merc, can you have the Runners transport some supplies to certain locations?”
“You bet! They expecting any fire-fights?”
“Negative. In the capital, that’s a bad idea. Just some supply caches set up for when we make our move.”
“Let me know where you want stuff, I’ll get it done.”
“Good man.” She turned off the display table, looking back out at the rest. “Alright, we’re going to be launching this attack in one week. I want everything ready in five days. We move then. Understood?”
As the group started to make their way out, Oracle came on. “Hey boss, if you’ve got a minute, I’ve finished compiling the information for that project we were talking about.”
Deathstroke looked concerned. “Something else going on, ma’am?”
She shook her head. “No, not yet. Just looking into something. If there is something to work with, I’ll let you know.” She turned back to Oracle. “I’ll take it in my ready-room.”
“You got it!”
She got up and left the table.
Her ready-room was a very spacious place, overlooking the entire facility. It had a desk that was perfect for her, integrated with the best tech that money could buy. She cued up the link with Oracle.
“Alright, hit me! Where are we on this?”
Oracle displayed five files. “Well, I got the DNA results back from what they got off of you. The samples were all good. There were five, in all. As expected, there was no data in the criminal or Numbers databases, but we got a read-out on all five from the Imperial database. They record everything about those in the Aristocracy. I tracked them down to where they are now, and correlated their movements.”
Taking off her mask, Wolf smiled. “Excellent work, Oracle!” She looked through the names, seeing one she recognized. Emily’s ex? He did this?! “Oracle, I’d like you do something else for me.”
“I’d like to get me everything you can about this man’s relatives. Can you do that?”
While he looked a bit confused, he eventually nodded. “Yeah, sure. You got it.”
“Thank you. That’ll be all.”
“Roger that. Over and out.”
She cut off the link, turning to face the windows in the room, looking out over the facility. You’re all going to pay! You’re all going to pay for what you did to me!
Jackson was in the car with his girlfriend. They left their kid with his soon-to-be mother-in-law. It was the first time that they were able to get out since the baby was born. Being able to just go down the open road, seeing what there was to see. He looked over at her, seeing her smiling as she stared at the open road. Summer was going to be ending soon, and the world was absolutely beautiful. It seemed to stretch on forever as they got closer to the ocean. They got to a toll booth.
He groaned. “Seriously!? Why did they set this up?!”
“It’s okay. I’ve got some change. Just throw it in the bowl and let’s go! Don’t let a minor hassle get in the way of our time together!”
He smiled at her. “Yeah, you’re right.” After the car in front got through, he pulled up. Just then, his phone beeped. It was a text. He took it out, looking at it.
Quinn sends her regards.
In that moment, he felt his insides go cold. Then, from inside the toll booth, several men and women stood up. They all had assault rifles aimed at the car. Before he could even think to act, they opened fire. The bullets went ripping through the vehicle’s windshield, blasting holes in him and his girlfriend. They fired until the guns were empty, with the two being very dead.
Michael was going on his fifth date with his girlfriend. He was glad to be back in the Empire and away from all the mess back in Area 7. After everything that happened, he just wanted to get as far away from it as possible. Being back home, he rekindled an old friendship, and they hit it off. This girl and him and grown up together. It was a nice break from the nightmares he had almost every night.
They were going to a film festival that was being held in the city. It was a chance for the latest filmmakers to show off what they had, and he loved it. Given the look on her face, she was into this too. It was a good night. They got to the elevator, to head to theater, when he got a text.
Quinn sends her regards.
His girlfriend looked rather unnerved.
Just then, the elevator door opened. A man pulled out a shotgun, blasting away at the two. Eight shots, with both of their guts being sprayed all over the elevator. In a second, the man disappeared.
Casey was sitting at a club. This place was loud, filled with lights and people who were having sex in dance form. It was just the kind of place that he could relax in. His nature was one of passion and energy. He wanted a place where he could let all of it out. Ever since that night, all those years ago, his friends had grown, distant. They seemed to be nervous. Part of him wondered if they wanted to talk. David had also grown distant, which was weird, considering he was the one who wanted to do this in the first place. Why would they care? It was a fucking Number, after all! And that dyke was having sex with one of us! You ask me, she got what she deserved. He took another drink, getting up.
He got to the restroom and walked up to a urinal. As he got there, he got a text. He took out his phone, checking it.
Quinn sends her regards.
His blood ran cold. Suddenly, there was a wire around his neck, choking him to death. He gagged and tried to struggle, but it was over before it started. The man pissed on himself as his body went limp. It was an ironically long time before anyone found the body.
Andy could feel the warm body of the girl he was sleeping with. It was a friends-with-benefits setup, and he was enjoying it immensely. It was nice to get back to his day-to-day. His father had set him up with a job at their banking firm. The pay was excellent (not that he needed it) and it got him to meet the movers and shakers of the Empire, which was what his career needed. Especially since he was told that he was engaged to the daughter of another noble family with military connections. It was going to be a great union between two powerful houses.
The girl with him was someone he had grown up with. The two of them were always close. While they were bummed that they weren’t able to get married, the fact was that in the Aristocracy, they could get away with continuing to have sex whenever they felt it. Marriage didn’t mean what it used to. Seeing the time, he got up fast.
His friend looked up. “Hey, what’s the rush?” Her sleepy voice was sexy.
He smiled at her. “Gotta go! Have to get to the office!”
She groaned. “Are you the boss there? You can go in whenever!”
Leaning over her, he kissed her. “I’m not the boss, yet! But once I am, trust me, I mean to make the most of our mornings together.” He threw on his clothes, heading for the door.
“Sorry about this!”
She waved him out. “Whatever! Get your useless ass to work!”
He winked at her as he rushed out the door.
His car was parked at the front of the apartment complex. There weren’t valets here, but he didn’t mind. It wasn’t freezing cold yet. He threw his briefcase in, glad that he kept a spare suit or two at his lover’s. I don’t need any hassles. Just then, his phone beeped. It was a text.
Quinn sends her regards.
The man felt his heart turn, starting to shake. He put the key in the ignition, starting the engine. He didn’t even have time to think before the car exploded. Inside the apartment, the friend looked out the window, feeling her insides go cold. That’s Andy’s car!
David’s parents were getting ready to go to church. Both in their twilight years, this was something they had done regularly for 43 years. This church was their home. As they exited, the father got a text.
Quinn sends her regards.
The turned around to see a man and a woman standing there. They didn’t say anything, they just pulled out pistols and opened fire. The two barely had time to understand what had happened before they were hit. Both of them hit the ground, the father reaching out for his wife, who was long gone.
David’s sister was just getting home from a late-night shift at her job in military intelligence. There were so many things to consider. Winter’s Shadow seemed to have vanished, but she knew that that wasn’t the case. They were still out there, waiting to strike. As she got the door opened, she got a text on her phone.
Quinn sends her regards.
Who the hell is Quinn? The door opened and she was facing the barrel of a shotgun. It went off, making her head explode. Her body landed on the ground, flopping around for a second before going limp.
David himself wasn’t aware of what was happening. These strikes were coordinated. It was all done within seconds of one-another. It was so that he could get home and find out about it all, which he did. It was all over the news. Plus, all of his friends were talking about it. He didn’t know about the text messages. As he got home, he collapsed in his chair and started sobbing. Why did it have to be them?! What did my parents and sister do to deserve that?! That was when a light in the background came on.
He recognized the voice instantly, going pale. He turned to face Quinn, sitting at a bar in the kitchen.
“How have you been?” she asked nonchalantly. She had a glass of scotch in her hand, taking a drink. “I’ve been just swell. Thanks for asking. After you and your friends left me to die in that…fuck-trap of yours, something unexpected happened – I didn’t!” She got up, walking over to a seat across the room from him. “I seem to have a gift at not dying. Don’t know where it comes from. Years and years of torture at the hands of the Empire, and I lived. Being a bleeding mess as I made my escape, feeling my life drain away, and I lived. Now, I get raped by a monster and four of his friends, left to die with cum all over my face, and I lived. Part of me wishes that it weren’t that way. For a year, I kept reliving it, over and over again in my head. I saw your face as you beat me. I felt that awful feeling as you violated me, with my blood running down my legs.” Her face got so cold that one could almost cut glass on it. “Does blood make for good lubricant? I was always wondering. Because you didn’t just violate my vagina. No, you had to go and violate my asshole too. So, does blood make for good lubricant?”
The man was paralyzed with fear.
“Answer me, you piece of shit!”
“Yes!” His fear triggered his voice. “Yes it does.”
“Wow, and here I was expecting you to lie your little ass off. I bet your friends would have, if I had gotten a chance to talk to them. But I didn’t. No, I took care of them right-quick. Because it wasn’t them I wanted to talk to. It was you! I wanted to talk to you! To see the look in your eyes as I came back into your life. As I came to you to make you pay for what you did. It was me who killed ALL of your friends! I killed your parents too. Gunned them down like dogs while they went to worship at their idol! Blew your sister’s fucking head off too! Me and some friends.” She got up, walking over. David was petrified with terror. “And now, I get to look into your eyes, as I make you pay for all the suffering that I went through!”
His voice was cracking. “Please. Please don’t kill me!”
Quinn seemed in shock. “Please? You’re asking me ‘please’?! If I had been coherent enough to talk, and I had begged you, would you have cared?! Would it have stopped you from sticking your dick in me, while I cried?!” From behind the chair, she pulled out a lead pipe she had brought with her. “Would it have made you not want to hurt me?! Would it have made you merciful?!” She was practically screaming now. “Answer me god-dammit!”
“I don’t know!” In that moment, the two joined eyes. The look in her eyes was enough to make his bones ache. So cold, that he could feel it. So much anger and rage inside, and he knew what was going to happen.
“You don’t know. You don’t fucking know. Well then, I guess we’ve got nothing left to talk about.” In a flash, the pipe slammed into the side of his head. He fell out of the chair, groaning in pain. She whipped out a knife, laying him on his back.
“This is for all the pain.” She drove the knife between his legs. “And all the nightmares that you caused me!” She pulled the blade upward, cutting through clothes and flesh. “This is for how many nights that I cried, thinking about it!” Blood was spilling out everywhere. “This is for everything you did to ME!” She turned him over, with his guts spilling out onto the floor. “Die, you fucking bastard!”
The man cried and gurgled as he stared at his intestines spilling out. Quinn took a moment to relish it, before she knew she had to leave. She only had a day to get back, before the operation.
As she left, she looked back. “This was far less than you deserved, but I’m on a schedule! If there is a God, tell him what you did. Hopefully he’ll be more merciful than I am.” She slammed the door, with him lying there, moaning in agony.
The police would find his body the next morning, when someone found his body on the stairwell, where he dragged himself to.
Until next time, a quote,
“Revenge is a dish best served cold.” -a Klingon Proverb